South Carolina Friends have met annually since 1999 for the Palmetto Friends Gathering. There are currently eight Meetings and/or Worship Groups affiliated with the Gathering. All practice the distinctive silent worship traditionally associated with Quakers and work together for peace and social justice.
Palmetto Friends Gathering, July 2022 We shared a potuck, worship, and a discussion led by Wayne Finegar, the Director of Quaker House of Fayetteville, on Quaker responses to the war in Ukraine. A wonderful time was had by all!
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Ending the Practice of Solitary Confinement: Recommendations for Federal Reform Some of you probably know that solitary confinement was, to our everlasting shame, started by Quakers. They thought it would be good for prisoners to have quiet time to themselves to help them transform their lives. Unfortunately, solitary confinement quickly became a type of torture, so now we must campaign to end the practice. Please consider signing the petition shown below from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Lynn Newsom, Palmetto Friends Gathering and Priscilla Preston, Columbia Friends Meeting
Dear Friends, Recently, over 150 faith and secular organizations released an open letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris entitled Ending the Practice of Solitary Confinement: Recommendations for Federal Reform. The letter urges them to take administrative action to end solitary confinement in all federal settings – Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). NRCAT has also joined with the Unlock the Box Campaign, Vera Institute of Justice, ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights and #HALTsolitary Campaign to form a Federal Anti-Solitary Task Force (FAST). We have just released a new Blueprint to End Solitary Confinement for the Federal Government that can guide both Congress and the Biden Administration on the steps needed to end solitary in all federal prisons and detention centers. On June 7, NBC ran an exclusive article on the Blueprint, which gave us good press coverage and visibility. Now, your members of Congress need to hear from you. TELL CONGRESS: END FEDERAL SOLITARY CONFINEMENT Write to Congress now and let them know that you want to see the U.S. government end solitary confinement in all federal settings – following the lead of states like NY, NJ and CO which have already taken significant steps to end this torturous practice. Sincerely, Johnny Perez, Director U.S. Prisons Program
Early Palmetto Friends Gathering Photographs
Helen White at the first Palmetto Friends Gathering on Martin Luther King Day in 1990. Helen and her husband Edwin lived in Colombia, SA, for some years when they taught at a Mennonite School located out from Bogotá.
An early 1990s Palmetto Friends Gathering at the Lexington, SC, YMCA showing, among others, long-time Penn Center directors Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, Marian Beane, Harry Rogers and Jim Henderson [front-right].
Palmetto Friends Gathering March 2000 at the Penn Center